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18 May 2005, 11:43 am
Nordic Trimaran Circus Kicks Off
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Nokia Oops Cup 2005
Helsinki, Finland

The Nokia Oops Cup kicks off this weekend and the competition and boats are hotter than ever. Knut FROSTAD (NOR) and his Team Academy look set for a hard fight to defend their trophy.
The Nordic trimaran circus starts in Helsinki, Finland, on 21 May with Speed Races just outside the Finnish capital. There will be five high pitched trimaran 60s on the starting line this year.

FROSTAD won last year's event by winning nine of ten races. A massive surprise for all the more established teams in the Nokia Oops Cup, and this year they will be back with a vengeance.

'It's not realistic to repeat last year's results this time,' said FROSTAD. 'All the teams have more experience and we now have the oldest boat of them all. Academy is eight to ten years older than most of the other trimarans and we must realize that we are on the bottom of the speed hierarchy in Nokia Oops Cup this time.'

After Helsinki the five boats will start their tour of the Nordic countries - starting in Stockholm and then Gothenburg in Sweden, moving on to Oslo in Norway, Copenhagen in Denmark and finally ending up in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July. The racing will be intense in the inshore regattas and the teams will be going after the speed records in Helly Hansen Faerder Race, Sjaelland Rundt and Gotland Rundt.

Nokia Oops Cup Teams

Team HiQ (SWE)
Klas 'Klabbe' NYLÖF will have Matthew HUMPHRIES on his side as tactician. NYLÖF won Nokia Oops Cup 2003 and is eager to get back on top of the podium. The team have bought Groupama 1, which won the French ORMA circus in 2003. The boat is fine tuned and is definitely a winning candidate this year and specially in offshore races where speed is the main thing.

Stena Sovcomflot Sailing Team (SWE/RUS)
The Cat-master Bruno PEYRON (FRA) has joined the Nokia Oops Cup with his navigator Roger NILSON this year. NILSON sailed last year on Team HiQ. The team has rented Banque Covefi. The boat was totally rebuilt during the spring time of 2004 and is in the same division as Groupama. PEYRON and NILSON have also brought in Steve RAVUSSIN and some of the regular crews on Covefi. This is a newcomer to watch out for in this year's Nokia Oops Cup.

Team Nokia (SWE)
Magnus 'Mange' OLSSON is a legend in the sailing community and after he left round the world racing after the last Volvo Ocean Race he has focused on trimaran 60 sailing. Last year the team finished third and lost their mast during the Gotland Round Race. This year they have a new sponsor and a new boat. They have rebranded Biscuit la Trinitaine and sailed to Sweden in the last few weeks. OLSSON has announced that Neal MCDONALD will join the team. The rest of OLSSON's team has four seasons with Formula 60 racing in the bag. With their experience and the new boat they have a dangerous combination.

Team TietoEnator (FIN)
Olympic gold medallist in the 49er in 2000, Thomas JOHANSON (FIN) and Kenneth THELEN (FIN) are key members of Team TietoEnator. They sailed last year too, but then on a minimum budget that did not give them any chance on the scoring board. This year they have acquired Banque Populaire and they are keen to show their ability.

Team Academy (NOR)
Last year FROSTAD had the newest boat in the fleet. This year he has the oldest. The winter has been spent upgrading and taking weight off the old Banque Covefi. Academy is now 100 kilos lighter, has brand new sails and have hired Damian FOXALL (IRL) to sail with them in the two first races. FOXALL, a well known figure from the Volvo Ocean Race, has been tactician and co-skipper on Tacchini, and is currently sailing on Foncia.

Event Media. Image, Team HiQ will be one of FROSTAD's biggest challengers this year:© Malcolm Hanes
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